Sunday, April 25, 2010

La Florida: Corsairs as Actors

Above: Hawkins - the type of the corsair

I’ve begun to flesh-out LF, and looking at the array of Categorical Actors, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need another Categorical Actor – Corsairs. Sure, corsairs (or pirates, if you like) were more or less loyal to their national sponsors (England and Huguenot France), but they were also wily traders operating in the murky world of the Black Flag and “no peace beyond the line” who frequently acted at cross-purposes to what one would think were their notional national and religious identities. Of course, their sponsors could always fall back on what we today might label “plausible deniability” in the event a corsair did something embarrassing.

In the final analysis, many of these characters were quintessential “loose cannons” or “wild cards,” driven by avarice and in some instances bloodlust. Although the stuff of romance and even national pride today, few tears were shed on either side when any of them came to naught.

Suffice to say, corsairs were so unreliable that they deserve a category separate from those of their sponsors.

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